TRENTON – A group of Republican women lawmakers unveiled legislation today designed to keep women in the workplace, help them balance families and careers, and reward companies that contribute to that effort.
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, R-11, Freehold, was joined by six other GOP legislators as she announced a bill that would provide a 50 percent tax credit for companies that offer child care assistance, and another measure that would honor and recognize businesses that join a so-called Family First initiative to encourage working women.
In reference to the struggle working mothers face in raising families and earning a living, Casagrande said that “If we keep that talent we will absolutely grow the GDP, this is a growth bill.’’
They said they would welcome support of female Democratic lawmakers to make this a bipartisan effort.
Standing alongside Casagrande in announcing the bills were Assembly members Donna Simon, R-16, Flemington; Nancy Munoz, R-21, Summit; BettyLou DeCroce, R-26, Parsippany; Mary Pat Angelini, R-11, Ocean; Holly Schepisi, R-39, Westwood; and DiAnne Gove, R-9, Forked River.
The bills, according to Casagrande, would ensure that women have choices, have happy and healthy families, promote gender equity, and make “New Jersey the most working parent-friendly state in the nation.”
She said that she believed that a previous, since-expired, state tax credit measure was at 20 percent and was limited to child care centers.
The other legislation they announced would establish under the state Labor Department a kind of “Good Housekeeping’’ seal of approval for companies that prove themselves to be family- and woman-friendly by providing options such as flex schedules, sick leave, and offering other mentorships and opportunities that advance the cause of gender equity.
“Our program will be a gold star for smart companies to earn and use to attract more top talent to New Jersey,” Casagrande said.
She said that they have been in contact with the Office of Legislative Services, which said that at this point it was too early to offer a fiscal note on what the tax credit could mean to the state budget.